What's more, the legacy ERP systems, with their thousands of developers, sales people and global offices, won't survive on fees ranging from $5 to $50 per user per month that smaller businesses in particular are willing to pay for their systems - for all their systems combined, that is. Because they use outdated technology, it costs today's ERP vendor more than that to simply deliver their on-demand software to a new client, even without taking into account their fixed costs such as sales, marketing and software development.
At the same time, building an IT strategy on a mix of point solutions is a fool's game. It's all very fine to start with Quickbooks and then add Salesforce.com CRM and payroll from someone like ADP. But then if you add a project management tool, an HR admin system, a procurement system, a contracts system, time and expense tracking, perhaps a supply chain system, plus reporting and collaboration, workflow tools and some mobile apps, before you know it businesses with more than 25 employees have more than 25 systems, each one with its own management bottlenecks and IT budgets, not to mention duplicate entry of data and no single version of the truth.
What is needed is for ERP as we know it today to die, and then to rise anew again.
Not to rise with the same 1980's platform, but to define new systems from scratch, designed on technology from this millennium, with scalable, low cost and easy to use and manage cloud-based architectures that can be easily tailored for each industry sector. Then, world-class ERP systems will come down in cost to a level that smaller companies can stomach, and these end users can finally stop relying on a stack of point solutions and get something they can really use.
iBE.net is a developer of business management software for SMEs.
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